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Career Tracks: Shipbuilders honor maritime leaders

Dachser and Svitzer announce C-suite hires

The Shipbuilders Council of America has presented MARAD Administrator Mark Buzby with its Maritime Leadership Award. (Photo: SCA)

Maritime Administration (MARAD) Administrator Mark H. Buzby and Sen. Dan Sullivan have received this year’s Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) Maritime Leadership Award.  

The award is given annually to national leaders who demonstrate exemplary dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry.

“Rear Admiral Buzby has dedicated his life to military and public service to protect the United States’ national and domestic security, and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women of our industry, we are bestowing on him the Shipbuilders Council of America’s highest honor, the 2020 SCA Maritime Leadership Award,” said Matthew Paxton, president of SCA. 

Buzby has served as the MARAD administrator since August 2017. After retiring from the Navy in 2013 after 34 years of service, he was president of the National Defense Transportation Association.

The SCA also presented Sen. Sullivan, R-Alaska, with its Maritime Leadership Award. 

Paxton said Sullivan “has long recognized the critical role shipping, shipbuilding and repair have across the entire U.S. economy and especially in his home state of Alaska. His experienced voice has championed and advanced our industry, the backbone of economic and national security, in unprecedented ways.”

Dachser has hired Robert Erni as CFO. (Photo: Dachser)

The SCA said that since joining the Senate in 2015, Sullivan has served as a maritime champion on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last year he authored and led the two-year reauthorization of the U.S. Coast Guard.  


Global logistics provider Dachser has announced that effective Jan. 1, Robert Erni will become chief financial officer of the family-owned company, succeeding Burkhard Eling, who is slated to become chief executive officer. 

Erni will begin his onboarding phase at Germany-headquartered Dachser as deputy director on Sept. 1.

Most recently Erni was CFO at Panalpina and led the merger with DSV. He began his career at Kühne + Nagel and held posts in Hong Kong, India, Argentina and the United States before returning to his home country of Switzerland.

Dachser CEO Bernhard Simon said, “Being CFO of a family-owned company like Dachser is about much more than mastering the figures. Our CFO maintains close relations with our shareholders, shapes the strategy process, and in so doing, also plays a major role in the operational business. In Robert Erni, we have found a CFO who can fully meet these requirements.”      

Svitzer has hired Kasper Karlsen. (Photo: Svitzer)


Tugboat operator Svitzer Europe has hired Kasper Karlsen as chief operating officer.

Karlsen most recently served as the senior director at Maersk Drilling. During his nearly 13 years with Maersk Drilling, he held a variety of leadership roles, including heading the transformation office and customer solutions.

“With his combination of operational, management, development and business transformation expertise, I am thrilled that Kasper is joining us as the new COO for Svitzer Europe,” said Svitzer CEO Kasper Nilaus. “With the towage sector undergoing a significant transformation and our industry under unprecedented strain, Kasper is ideally placed to help Svitzer Europe adapt to the new normal and help bring in a new age of customer-focused improvements for our European operations.”

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.